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Today in LGBT History – September 6
1860 – Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935), known as the “mother” of Social Work, was a pioneer American settlement activist/reformer, social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women’s suffrage and world peace. She co-founded, with her early partner Ellen Gates Starr, the first settlement house in the United States, Chicago’s Hull Housethat would later become known as one of the most famous settlement houses in America. In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. In her essay “Utilization of Women in City Government,” Jane Addams noted the connection between the workings of government and the household, stating that many departments of government, such as sanitation and the schooling of children, could be traced back to traditional women’s roles in the private sphere. Thus, these were matters of which women would have more knowledge than men, so women needed the vote to best voice their opinions. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatistschool of philosophy, and is known by many as the first woman “public philosopher in the history of the United States. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU. In 1931 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and is recognized as the founder of the social workprofession in the United States. Generally, Addams was close to a wide set of other women and was very good at eliciting their involvement from different classes in Hull House’s programs. Throughout her life Addams had significant romantic relationships which offered her the time and energy to pursue her social work while being supported emotionally and romantically. From her exclusively romantic relationships with women, she would most likely be described as a lesbian in contemporary terms, similar to many leading figures in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of the time. She “shared her life for 40 years” with her beloved companion Mary Rozet Smith (December 23, 1868 – February 22, 1934).
1882 – John Powell (September 6, 1882 – August 15, 1963) is born in Richmond, Virginia. A world-renowned concert pianist and composer, his partner in life was fellow composer Daniel Gregory Mason (November 20, 1873 – December 4, 1953.
1935 -New York University professor Dr. Louis W. Max tells a meeting of the American Psychological Association that he has successfully treated a “partially fetishistic” homosexual neurosis with electric shock therapy delivered at “intensities considerably higher than those usually employed on human subjects.” Max’s presentation is the first documented instance of aversion therapy to “cure” homosexuality.
1963 – Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) appears on the cover of LIFE Magazine with A. Philip Randolph as the organizers of the March on Washington. Rustin, who is openly gay, is fully supported by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1971 – The annual convention of the National Organization for Women passes a resolution acknowledging “oppression of lesbians as a legitimate concern of feminism.”
2005 – The California legislature becomes the first to pass a bill allowing marriage between same-sex couples. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill. The same thing happens in 2007.
2015, Guatemala – Out lesbian human rights activist Sandra Moran (born April 29, 1960) is voted into Guatemalan congress. Sandra Moran joined Guatemala’s human rights movement as a high school student, and later merged her activism with music, playing with the revolutionary music band, Kin Lalat. During much of Guatemala’s civil war, Sandra lived in exile—in Mexico, Nicaragua and Canada—and participated in solidarity work for Guatemala. Sandra is Guatemala’s first openly gay member of Congress.
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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)